Another birthday come and gone. The missus and I celebrated my 37th year on this planet – all of them have been worth celebrating. We had a wonderful dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant – Villarinas. Afterward, we came home and I played the great present she got me, Guitar Hero II for the 360. Guitar Hero II is really a TON of fun. I have repeatedly heard what a great game it is and people are absolutely right – this game is a blast. I am no stranger to rhythm / music games (such as DDR, Elite Beat Agents, others) and this one does the genre incredibly well. The game teaches you how to play and then gently increases the difficulty. By the end of the evening I was able to play the early medium-level songs pretty fluidly. I have no delusions it will help me with actual guitar playing, but it kind of “feels” like playing guitar and (as I said) is an absolute blast. If you know somebody who has it, you should definitely give it a try. If you are in the neighborhood, come by and you can play mine 🙂 Or better yet, bring a guitar controller and we’ll jam 😉
One other thing worth commenting on — we have been living without “2” of the 5.1 surround sound (we were missing the “surround” left and right) for the last couple years — which saddened me, but, I didn’t have great solutions for running the cables or speaker placement in our smaller apartments. Now that we have a better sized living room, I wanted to get back to 5.1 so I started thinking about cable placement. I didn’t really like ANY of the solutions (I have never liked running the speaker cable for surround left and right). A year ago or so I discovered the Amphony 1520 Wireless Digital Amp which reportedly takes two channels of audio (such as surround left and right) and lets you avoid running the cables. I was mostly hesitant because it isn’t “cheap” and my experience with wireless audio has been spotty (at best), but we decided to try it – worst case is that we hated it and returned it. It arrived yesterday and I must say I am impressed. Anybody who wants to do surround sound without running speaker wires should definitely consider this option. It did, in fact, sound CD quality (as advertised), at least to me. Maybe an audiophile (the guy who spends $5k on a receiver and buys Monster Cable (bleh)) wouldn’t be happy with it… but we are very pleased.